by Max Brantley
Central Arkansas Water has produced some reports on potential threats to the Lake Maumelle water supply from activities in the watershed. They are useful reminders that land use controls are vital in the drainage basin.
The picture above, distributed by Kathy Wells of the Coalition of Little Rock Neighborhoods, shows what sediment did to the lake after a heavy rain in 2009. The sediment sank to the bottom before reaching the intake valve, but a heavy wash of tree foliage required additional treatment.
Here's a more in-depth report on problems related to runoff from timber harvest from big chunks of acreage near creeks that drain into the lake.
Here's a broader report on the watershed, including an assessment of maintenance of a major pipeline crossing (some problems exist, not that such a thing could happen if it was, say, a Transcanada Keystone pipeline); a drainage ditch built for a once hotly contested residential development, and other issues.
It is past time for the Quorum Court to approve pending rules for the watershed — watered down though they are.